19 answers

I Need to Know How to Get More Patience!

I'm pretty sure my son has reached his terrible twos! I spend all day today yelling at him to "put that down" or "close that" or "don't touch that, go to time out!" I know he is just curious and he needs to explore. But I'm beginning to hate the sound of my own voice, it always seems to be yelling! I just wish I had more patience, I even find myself wanting to slap his hands more often and I feel bad. I always envisioned myself as calm patient mommy but I'm realizing that it isn't that easy. So how can I keep my cool and not yell so much with my son acting this way, getting into EVERYTHING?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

When my son was 2, I could have been YOU! It sounds sooo familiar! He got into everything. He was always a happy little boy, and he'd have a smile on his face and the look of an angel even while he was destroying the house and everything around him! Eventually, I became very patient with him. That's because he finally moved out of the house back in September! LOL He's 19 and moved to college. He's still headstrong and determined, and very charming. But when he was little, it seemed like all I ever did was provide all the negatives in his life. Even when I was able to be patient, it took a huge amount of effort on my part.

I agree with everyone who suggested something of a "safe zone". We set up a play area in the house which was right next to my office. (I work from home.) Everything in there was ok to be touched, pummeled, pulled apart, and played with anyway he wanted. And that's what he did. I didn't worry about the mess. I had to just decide that anything broken or messy was A-OK in there. I had firm rules about other things that still stand to this day. No eating except at a table. (That rule no longer applies to sporting events on the big-screen on weekends when the family room because the "Man Cave" for my three teenage sons and my husband.) Indoor voices used in the house. (Again, rule suspended in the Man Cave. LOL) And a reasonable age-appropriate expectation for clean up at the end of the day. When the boys were toddlers, that meant simply tossing things in big baskets. Now that they're grown, that includes cleaning toilets. LOL

There's light at the end of the tunnel, but it's a looong tunnel. Try to get some down-time for you every now and then so that you can recharge. We're always the most impatient when we're tired and stressed. Provide safe-zones and safe activities when you can. Try not to sweat the small stuff, and be realistic about what you classify as "small" and "large" stuff.

1 mom found this helpful

J.,
I know what you mean. I have a son who will be 2 1/2 the end of December and he is the same way, whining, crying and whatever else. I have a daughter who will be 7 in 2 weeks who is home due to the teacher strike in Seneca Valley. My family and I are new to the area, we just moved here from VA. The stress of the move, strike plus the terrible 2's is overwhelming sometimes. I also look forward to nap time. As with my daughter it is something that they have to out grow. Hang in there and good luck :) Also how do you like the mom to mom biz? I have seem it on line and was wondering how it works. I would like to work part time from home or out of the house, need to find daycare first though.

Thanks,
S.

More Answers

When my son was 2, I could have been YOU! It sounds sooo familiar! He got into everything. He was always a happy little boy, and he'd have a smile on his face and the look of an angel even while he was destroying the house and everything around him! Eventually, I became very patient with him. That's because he finally moved out of the house back in September! LOL He's 19 and moved to college. He's still headstrong and determined, and very charming. But when he was little, it seemed like all I ever did was provide all the negatives in his life. Even when I was able to be patient, it took a huge amount of effort on my part.

I agree with everyone who suggested something of a "safe zone". We set up a play area in the house which was right next to my office. (I work from home.) Everything in there was ok to be touched, pummeled, pulled apart, and played with anyway he wanted. And that's what he did. I didn't worry about the mess. I had to just decide that anything broken or messy was A-OK in there. I had firm rules about other things that still stand to this day. No eating except at a table. (That rule no longer applies to sporting events on the big-screen on weekends when the family room because the "Man Cave" for my three teenage sons and my husband.) Indoor voices used in the house. (Again, rule suspended in the Man Cave. LOL) And a reasonable age-appropriate expectation for clean up at the end of the day. When the boys were toddlers, that meant simply tossing things in big baskets. Now that they're grown, that includes cleaning toilets. LOL

There's light at the end of the tunnel, but it's a looong tunnel. Try to get some down-time for you every now and then so that you can recharge. We're always the most impatient when we're tired and stressed. Provide safe-zones and safe activities when you can. Try not to sweat the small stuff, and be realistic about what you classify as "small" and "large" stuff.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi! I'm right there with you with my 18 month old. I could give you tips and techniques, but some days... the only thing that works is to just stop and pray and ask the Lord for patience! :) The mornings that I start out in prayer and reading my Bible are always better and more patient days. *sigh* One of these days I'll realize that I should be doing this every morning without fail. Good luck to you and your cutie. :)

Try to create some 2-year-old zones for him, where he can play safely. Pack up all your pretty and fragile stuff and put it away for a year or two. Make sure you get him out everyday. Get enough sleep for yourself. When all else fails, walk away for a few minutes to regain your composure.
I struggle mightily with patience. Sunday, I meditated for a little while. It didn't seem to be working. But Monday I was calmer.

if it's a matter of him trying to touch things that he shouldn't, try to arrange a time when it's just you (or you and hubby, if that will help) and remove as much of the temptations as possible. don't look at things as an adult, look at them in the eyes, and from the eye level, of a 2 year old. if you remove things that he really shouldn't have, it will help. he'll still get into things, but it won't make you so nervous if he's getting into the row of cookbooks versus the spice rack.

if you don't have a seperate toy room, try and corner off a section of a living room or dining room and dedicate it just to him and his things. this way, when he does start to get into things, he can be re-directed to his own area.

another good way to let him explore, but keep it safe, it keep your tupperware or pots and pans down low. he can get into those drawers or cupboards to play with the things when you're in the kitchen, but he can't do harm with those.

hope the ideas help!

hey I hear ya.....my daughter is only 9 months and my patience is gone! i know she's only a baby but when she cries and won't go down for a nap, i find myself cursing and regretting motherhood, but then when she's asleep i feel guilty. I also get frustrated at feeding time when she won't eat the food, she only wants the bottles, thats another time I start yelling......I don't have much advice as I have lost my patience, my best way of dealing with it is putting her in the crib and walking away for a few minutes, i also try to think, she's only going to be this young for so long so i should be enjoying every moment! good luck

2 things...do not sweat the small stuff (as long as he is safe and not being destructive). Leave the room and count to 10 when you feel the urge to swat his hand or begin to lose your cool. Repeat the above over and over and over....it does not seem to get any easier as they get older...ha ha ha

I know how you feel. Sometimes it feels like all I do is yell. I know that people say you should leave everything where it is and teach your child not to touch them. However, I think there is a happy medium. There should definately be a place in your home where you can just walk away from your child for a few moments and know that they'll be okay till you regain your composure. That's the best thing to do. Walk away and take a few minutes to decide the best way to handle things. Good Luck.

Theres a really good book called, "The no Cry Discipline Solution" by Pantley. She has very gentle ideas to enforce discipline that work well. I think that word terrible twos should be changed to discovering and challenging self will.

J.,
I know what you mean. I have a son who will be 2 1/2 the end of December and he is the same way, whining, crying and whatever else. I have a daughter who will be 7 in 2 weeks who is home due to the teacher strike in Seneca Valley. My family and I are new to the area, we just moved here from VA. The stress of the move, strike plus the terrible 2's is overwhelming sometimes. I also look forward to nap time. As with my daughter it is something that they have to out grow. Hang in there and good luck :) Also how do you like the mom to mom biz? I have seem it on line and was wondering how it works. I would like to work part time from home or out of the house, need to find daycare first though.

Thanks,
S.

Hi J.,

We took the "Happiest Toddler on the Block" Class at Gymboree and it really helped with our Toddler. I also have found that when he acts out it is because he is trying to get my attention - even if that attention is getting yelled at. So it is best to ignore the bad actions (if they don't get a response from them, they won't continue to do them) and try to look proactively at when your child might need a little extra attention. Giving it before they get upset might make everything different. The happiest toddler class calls this "feeding the meter".

J.
A Mother's Boutique
www.mothersboutique.com

Hi!! Don't we all!! Do not feel bad..make sure you make time for yourself, and do not feel guilty!! When you are correcting your son make sure it is always...no with an explaination..i.e "you can not touch that glass..if it breaks you could get hurt". I find if you have a conversation vs. NO! LEAVE THAT ALONE! You are not yelling and you are actually explaining why..2yrs want an explaination..they know more then you think. I yell too but it is soo important to keep your cool!! Good luck!!

Some people may not agree but when my daughter started exploring I put locks on cabinets that were off limits and I allowed her to explore in the others. That meant moving some things around of course but she was able to enjoy exploring and I was able to let her without worrying about her getting her or things breaking. My family room and kitchen are an open space so we stayed in that area for most of the time, all plastics and non breakables were moved to the exploring cabinets and everything else was moved out of harms way. For other objects I could not move I just had to say NO quite often, be consistent, but at least she had other options where she could explore and I didn't have to worry. After a while your little one will catch on, just be consistent.

Good luck!

J.,
I hear you loud and clear! You and me, we're the same Mom... LOL!!!

Patience comes with time and understanding. BUT, what you can immediately start doing is removing the word NO from your vocabulary. It will help, TRUST me, and yes it can be done. Just explain instead of saying NO. (like, we shouldn't touch the plant, you might hurt it)

And then probably the next most critical step is to turn the negatives around. If you see him touching something he shouldn't, offer him something he CAN touch, saying to him, "We shouldn't touch/play with that. Here, let's play with this instead." It really does work. Same thing when he gets into something/somewhere he shouldn't be. Pick him up, explain why and move him to an appropriate area/place for him to play.

I pray for your continued sanity, and that you find the balance you are looking for.

Blessings,

Rolinda
Wife, Mother, Friend

I feel like I'm in exactly the same spot. One thing my husband and I talked about focusing on is making sure that if we start a battle, we need to make sure we follow through. There are some things that it seems we always say "no" initially, but tend to give in about. One typical thing is he always wants to go sing goodnight to his 4 year old sister with us after we get him tucked into bed. We just need to plan ahead and put that into the routine so we can increase our credibility for more important issues and can eliminate at least one fight.

Hi J.. I just wanted to tell you that we all feel that way sometimes. My friends and I call them the "I'm having one of THOSE days" days. Just know that everyone sometimes feels like they are failing as the "perfect, non-screaming, perfectly patient mommy". I think the easiest thing for me to do is to calm myself down as soon as I realize I'm yelling (by deep breathing) and to remember that if I make a big deal about everything,pretty soon my children and I are not going to have a good relationship and they are going to pretty much ignore me. What I am trying to say is- choose your battles. If no one is going to get hurt and nothing is going to be broken, is it worth the aggrevation? I also agree with one of the other writers- if it is a battle, you better follow through.Once you don't, they know there is always the possiblity that you will give in if they keep at it. Just remember, it is just a phase (hopefully).

Get him some play doh and put a sheet down on the floor, with all the playdoh toys. That should keep him busy for a while.

We all go through that. I am going through something like that now. My daughter is 2.5 and I am nine months pregnant so you can imagine what my patience is like. The best thing I can suggest it trying to think before you yell. It's not as easy as it sounds I know but that was something my father told me to do. They need to be corrected but be firm without yelling. Also try the corner thing. This may sound really bad but it works. If my daughter refuses to listen we put her in the corner and leave her tv show on but she's not allowed to turn around if she does it's another five minutes until she stops. It sounds hard and it is but we just keep turning her around until she gets it. If he has a favorite toy, take it away from him until he is a "good boy" no matter how much he protests. hope this helps. Good luck.

J.,

Well, I definitely have gotten into those modes where all I do is say 'No' and then my daughter is sooo pokey that I swear it takes an hour to get her to do ANYTHING and I just want to scream.

I agree with some of the other moms as far as the first thing is rearrange so you have a place for him to do things on his own safely -- and YOU can do things on your own for a bit. Then my entire motherhood theory is 'pick your battles' -- I have found that I'm saying no because I want my daughter to do everything right, but it doesn't really matter if she HAS to take a specific toy to a specific room, as long as she returns it. Or if she HAS to eat her mac & cheese with her fingers. Or whatever it is that she feels is important. It all boils down to them having control over their own lives, or as much as you can at 2, so definitely give him alternatives and even options (we can't play with the chess set, but you can either play with a puzzle or your colors... that kind of thing).

Good luck!

S.

I feel like that sometimes with my 2 yo and 3 yo. Do you have a room that can be all his - one where he can explore without any consequences? That might help. If not, perhaps you could move some of the interesting things that he shouldn't be playing with until he has a little more control. For example, my kids love to play with the magazines in my magazine rack. I didn't care if they played with them except then there was a mess to clean up after they would rip them up. So I moved the rack to my bedroom.

When they "get into something" I try to redirect them by saying things like, "let's build a castle" or "it's story time" or "your babies need hugs". You will still be doing a lot of talking, but the words won't sound so negative.

Be consistent with your consequences for not listening to you, but also be sure to praise when your son when he does. Your son will eventually catch on and know better what he is and is not allowed to do.

Also, be sure to take some time for yourself to unwind. It will help you remain calm, positive minded and resourceful. Good luck!

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